The State Voice

Mr. President, I rise in support of the motion put forward by the Honourable member.

In this chamber, our first and foremost duty is to do the right thing – a simple yet profound obligation.

Part of that duty is to listen, truly listen, to the people we’ve sworn to serve – the people of South Australia.

Under the Malinauskas government, it seems we’re facing an unfortunate case of blatant disregard for this very principle.

Despite a loud and clear chorus from the community shouting down the idea of an SA Voice to Parliament, this government have plowing ahead regardless.

They’re tuning out the very voices they should heed, insisting on a policy outright rejected by the people.

This isn’t just about hearing what you want to hear.

A staggering 64% of South Australians gave a resounding ‘no’ to a federal voice to parliament.

But instead of acknowledging this decisive outcome, the government have chosen to sideline the broader public interest for South Australia in favour of narrow ideological gains.

Let’s not mince words about the claims that an SA Voice is different from the Federal Voice; it’s a distinction without a difference.

Technically different, perhaps, but in spirit and in substance, it’s the same undemocratic push.

South Australians, canny as they are, aren’t fooled. They see past the smokescreen of political correctness and identity politics.

They now understand that such a voice would only serve to divide, to cost dearly, and ultimately to fail in delivering real outcomes because they know that adding more and more levels of bureaucracy is ultimately, more of the same.

And then there’s the argument about pre-election commitments as if announcing a policy almost three years before an election gives you carte blanche.

Mr. President, memories are short, and the supposed ‘mandate’ this government claims is nothing but a mirage.

The referendum spoke volumes, rendering any assumed mandate obsolete.

The Premier himself has chosen to turn his face away from the promotion of the State Voice elections, his absence has been duly noted by many.

The government’s failure to listen is a dereliction of their duty.

We must, at times, have the courage to make unpopular decisions when they are in the best interests of our state.

However, this, Mr. President, is not one of those times. Our democratic process already provides for representative voices in this Parliament without bias or special provisions for any minority or race.

The truth is, our First Nations people have a presence in Parliament – an embedded, enduring presence with no fewer than 11 federal Indigenous parliamentarians and 26 across Australia.

Our constitution clearly states that parliamentary representation is determined by the people of the electoral districts, not by government fiat that flies in the face of democracy and the rule of law.

If the Malinauskas government truly wishes to serve the Indigenous community, it would engage with them directly, understand the on-the-ground realities, and act decisively on those challenges, not retreat to another layer of needless bureaucracy.

The appearance of action is no substitute for actual results.

We all recognise the need to genuinely support Indigenous Australians.

However, pandering and paternalism will not deliver the results that are so desperately needed.

Where is the accountability in this legislation?

When will the government declare that the objectives have been met?

Or is this voice to be an eternal reminder of division and disadvantage?

The federal referendum’s results have already sown division, distrust, and disquiet among the people.

The State Voice, now understood and known by more South Australian’s has done the same.

My office has been inundated with concerns from constituents feeling unheard, some even censored on the Premier’s social media for expressing their honest and deeply held dissent.

This government’s refusal to listen is not just arrogant; it is profoundly undemocratic.

So, Mr. President, it is with a sense of urgency and resolve, I commend this motion to the chamber.

It’s high time we return to the core of what our roles in this place are about – representing the will of the people, standing up for the values that make South Australia great, and ensuring our actions in this House reflect the true voice of the South Australians we’re here to serve.